Talk and advice about sex should always be considered a “buyer beware” situation. There are so many differing and contradictory ideas about sex floating around. We really need discerning eyes.
This week’s most shocking news in the world of sex came when controversial fetish community site Fetlife deleted mention of and content related to a number of specific acts. This may seem an odd action for a service that catered to people activities across the wide spectrum of sexual pleasure. This is just another bump in Fetlife’s controversial history. The site has long been hailed as a great way for people to meet and share with others who have the same sexual interests, but Fetlife has also been accused of being unsafe and open to folk’s boundaries being broken and online abuse and harassment. This time, the concession to dropping certain content was made to appease payment processors who objected to content related to incest, non-consensual rape play, race play, blood, drug and alcohol mentions, and more. To maintain merchant status and continue to process premium memberships, Fetlife deleted the content without first mentioning it to members. Maybe if some notice had been given, the backlash would be less severe. Some of those paying members might have signed up specifically for the content that this now banned! At the same time, kowtowing to the payment processors is such a dangerous precedent. These companies should not have the power to demand such a change to a legally-run business. Surely more will develop here and we’ll keep a watch of it.
Part of the problems that have plagued Fetlife is trying to establish the lines between reality and fantasy and how to ensure that line isn’t too blurry when it comes to sex that illegal or harmful practices. Can somebody please apply this same logic to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop site? First there was vaginal steaming and sex powder.Now the actress/lifestylist suggests women put a jade egg in their vaginas for extended periods of time. Fortunately, Dr. Jen Gunter, a gynecologist issued a quick and severe NOPE to the ridiculous and potentially dangerous claims. There are many different beliefs about sexual health and different cultures offer specific remedies and aids. And perhaps jade eggs were used in the past. However, if you want to learn about and try something new to better your sex life, do your research. Explore the uses of product within the cultural context and from a medical perspective as well.
Excited and Intersex
Usually when we hear the term “fashion forward” it refers to a somebody’s choice in clothing being ahead of the times. This week we learned that it can also be more about advancing an important idea. Renowned model Hanne Gaby Odiele announced through her Instagram account that she was “excited” to tell the world that she is intersex. With her post, she shared her struggle with the medical establishment that determined she should have surgeries throughout her life—a reality many intersex folks have had to deal with. With her significant number of followers and high-profile public standing, Hanne’s story can be a turning point in people understanding more about folks who are intersex. Yet, there’s one word that sets this revelation apart. Hanne said she is “excited” to tell people. All-too-often, this kind of sharing is cloaked in fear, shame, and hurt—all of which are natural given our confused relations to gender, sexuality, and sex. So, to hear she is excited is new and refreshing.
No Penal Pleasure?
I really wish I could go back in time and find that moment when masturbation became such a difficult thing for people to process. The simple act of self-pleasure can do so much for us, but it has been vilified in many parts of the world. I’ll admit, I had no idea that masturbation is banned in United States prisons. Of all spaces, you’d think solo gratification would be acceptable for inmates. That seems to be an inalienable right. However, there are issues that could speak more to how people are incarcerated than what they do there. Prisons are overcrowded so there is no private space. This can make one person’s solo pleasure a non-consensual show for others, including other inmates and guards. Can a better balance be struck to allow for pleasure?
Maybe prison officials are just worried about too much cum clogging the drains? We’ve long had an obsession with male ejaculate, and in typical ways. We want it bigger, we want it to shoot farther, and we want it to taste better. Essentially, we want our loads to come in party size—and taste great. Are there ways to achieve all of this? Is this one of those things porn could be normalizing? Gushers instead of dribbles? Bitters instead of Skittles?
Finally, looking to keep that New Year’s resolution of being more active? Then maybe you should climb a wall of genitalia!